The Inca Quarry Trail to Machu Picchu (also known as the Cachicata, Soqma, and Chaski Trek) is an excursion that’s stayed out of the crowded traditional tourist circuits. It’s an excellent tour for those looking to delve into the Incas’ history and learn first-hand how life in the Andes works. The Inca Quarry Route was recently included in the top six Alternative Routes to Machu Picchu by National Geographic.The Inca Quarry trek is one of the newest and least crowded trekking routes to Machu Picchu. This wonderful trek will take you past high waterfalls, Inca ruins, and beautiful scenery.
Amidst the exuberant local flora and fauna, you’ll visit the archaeological site of Perolniyoc and pass through various communities near the Cachiqata quarry. The Incas took the stones from this quarry to build Ollantaytambo. You’ll be able to appreciate some rocks that were cut by the Incas in that place!
After three days of walking, you’ll go to Aguas Calientes by train. On the fourth day, you’ll visit the magnificent city of Machu Picchu. Our standard package includes the premium service of the Vistadome Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and accommodation in a pleasant and comfortable hotel there. It also includes dinner in the best restaurant in Aguas Calientes and the entrance to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain.
You’ll have an informative meeting with your guide 1 or 2 days before the start of your walk. This meeting will take place at our offices in Cusco. Take this opportunity to ask any questions you have and get ready, the adventure is about to begin!
We’ll pick you up from your hotel very early in the morning and travel for 2 hours to Soqma (3,205 masl / 10,512 fasl), the starting point of our trek. Our vans are incredibly comfortable; we’ll also provide blankets if you want to enjoy a few more minutes sleep.
After meeting the porters and horse riders, our trek will begin 2 hours to the Perolniyoc waterfall. You’ll have the opportunity to get to the base of the waterfall to cool off. You can also stay on the road and take amazing pictures.
After half an hour, we’ll arrive at the Inca archaeological site of Perolniyoc, built on a cliff with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. All our guides are experts in Inca history, so quality information is guaranteed. There we’ll also have lunch and, for the first time, you’ll taste the exquisite food prepared by our team.
We’ll ascend for about 1 hour to our camp in Rayán (3,700 masl / 12,139 fasl) after lunch.
The clear nights of the Andes are lovely. As we prepare for a full 3-course dinner, you’ll see the sky full of constellations and shooting stars. Then, a pleasant night of rest awaits you in your comfortable tent.
After breakfast, we’ll ascend for 3 hours to the first mountain pass of the excursion: Puccaqasa (4,370 masl / 14,333 fasl). From there, you can appreciate incredible views of the Sacred Valley. A perfect place to take pictures!
Later we’ll descend for 25 minutes to the lunch spot. Once you have recharged your energy with the delicious food prepared by our chef, we’ll continue hiking a 2-hour going up and down. This section’s last 20 minutes will take us to the highest point of our excursion, the Kuychicassa Pass (4,457 masl / 14,619 fasl).
From here, we’ll descend for 2.5 hours to the archaeological site of Inti Punku or Puerta del Sol from where we’ll appreciate a spectacular view of Verónica Mountain (5,682 masl / 18,637 fasl) and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will only have 30 minutes of descent to go to our camp, which upon arrival will already be set up in the Choquetacarpo sector (3,600 masl / 11,808 fasl).
Like every morning, we’ll enjoy breakfast and begin with a 1-hour descent to the Cachiqata quarries (3,525 masl / 11,562 fasl), where the stones were taken to build the wonderful fortress of Ollantaytambo. Here we’ll have a guided tour and observe the cut stone blocks whose transportation was interrupted by the Spanish arrival.
We’ll descend from the quarry for 3 hours until we reach Ollantaytambo (2,840 masl / 9,315 fasl), where we’ll have lunch. You’ll board the train on the Vistadome service to Aguas Calientes (2,040 masl / 6,692 fasl) in the afternoon. This train trip will give you many opportunities to take some great photos.
Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you’ll check-in at your hotel where you can rest until dinner. If you still have energy left, you can visit the hot springs, which are a great place to relax. Later, we’ll enjoy dinner in an excellent restaurant. Remember to go to bed early because our trip to Machu Picchu will start before sunrise.
You’ll enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and then we’ll embark very early (5:30 a.m.) on a bus to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu to see the sunrise. You’ll discover the secrets of this mysterious place on a 2-hour guided tour.
If you chose to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain (not included in the package), you must do so at 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, you’ll have free time in Machu Picchu (you can walk to Puerta del Sol or the Inca Bridge) before returning to Aguas Calientes by bus.
In Aguas Calientes, you’ll board the Expedition train heading to Ollantaytambo and later travel to Cusco in a private van. We’ll drop you off at the hotel door. The time of your arrival will depend on the time of your train ticket.
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Peru Hike offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Returning from Machu Picchu requires quite a bit of logistics, but don’t worry. Everything is included in your tour!
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
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When we got the bad news, that the Salkantay trek was not possible to hike due to heavy rain, Peru Hike managed to rebook our trek very uncomplicated. With the Quarry trek, we landed on a magnificent alternative which we can recommend highly. The trek is far less crowded than all the other treks to Machu Picchu (we were the only group at this time) and the scenery was just stunning.
After a well organised pickup at our hostel, a relaxed breakfast and a visit to a local weaving factory, we started the hike in a valley (appr. 2900 m.a.s.l.) and made our way up to two passes (appr. 4500 and 4600 m.a.s.l.). Already after a few hours, we visited the first Pre-Inca site. Our guide, Elisban, knew a lot of interesting facts and history to every place we visited. He explained everything in a funny and though professional way.
Special mention should be made to the good food that was prepared always freshly by our two chefs Carmello and Lorenzo. They managed to produce a great variety of dishes under very simple conditions. Once even a chocolate-jelly-cake. Also the horsemen did a very good job in preparing our big tents for every lunch and every night. The tents and other equipment were in good condition. We slept well and woke up in front of the most beautiful views while getting a hot coca tea served at the bed.
Thank you for an unforgettable experience on the Quarry trek and Machu Picchu!